Florida fire chief now only has one job. Kenneth Ellerbe resigned from the DC Fire & EMS Department amid controversy over his dual employment.

Chief Kenneth Ellerbe from Sarasota County website.
Chief Kenneth Ellerbe from Sarasota County website.

Click here & scroll down for our previous coverage on this story has learned that Deputy Chief Kenneth Ellerbe resigned from the District of Columbia Fire & EMS Department on January 15. The resignation came a month and a day after it was first reported by David Lipscomb of The Washington Times that Ellerbe was both the chief of the Sarasota County Fire Department and on leave without pay from DC.

That revelation was followed by our report there was a signed agreement between the two jurisdictions that allowed this unusual arrangement. Numerous sources indicated the deal was an effort to let Chief Ellerbe stay employed by the DC Fire & EMS Department until his 50th birthday in April, providing hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional retirement benefits.

DC Fire & EMS Department Chief Spokesman Pete Piringer confirmed Kenneth Ellerbe’s new status today.

Still unanswered from anyone in the District government is exactly why this arrangement was made and what advantage there was for the city in facilitating such a deal. learned on December 16 that the official “Personnel Exchange Agreement” was approved in DC by Assistant Fire Chief Brian Lee and Director of Human Resources Brender Gregory. The Department of Human Resources denied a Freedom of Information Act request by for paperwork and correspondence related to this agreement.

As we reported last month, DC Fire & EMS Department sources indicated when the arrangement was first presented to Chief Dennis Rubin he refused to sign off on the deal. In June, when the department was questioned by about a possible deal to help Chief Ellerbe with his retirement, the word from a spokesman was that Chief Rubin said there would be no special arrangements for Ellerbe. The fire department sources, who are not authorized to speak on this matter, indicated in December that Chief Rubin said he only recently had become aware that Assistant Chief Lee signed the exchange form.

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